The Education, Democracy and Human Rights Deep Dive examined the role of education in promoting democracy in the United States and advancing global human rights. Professor Fernando Reimers of the Harvard Graduate School of Education chaired the Deep Dive, convening faculty and nonprofit leaders from across Harvard and around the country.
The Deep Dive presented ALI Fellows with a broad menu of topics and viewpoints, ranging from historical accounts of democracy and religious diversity in the US to the latest research on social-emotional learning and early childhood development.
ALI Faculty Co-Chairs Howard Koh and Meredith Rosenthal led the 2018 Health and the Role of Business Deep Dive.
The Deep Dive showed ALI Fellows the important role that businesses can play in addressing public health issues. The two-day conference also gave Fellows an opportunity to think about creating systems-level change. Over the course of the Deep Dive, Fellows heard from faculty across Harvard, business leaders from around the world, and experts in public health.
The 2018 Climate Change Deep Dive presented ALI Fellows with a multi-faceted view of the causes, consequences, and potential solutions for climate change. The Deep Dive was led by ALI Co-Chair Forest Reinhardt of Harvard Business School (HBS). The Deep Dive also featured speakers from Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), the Harvard Law School (HLS), Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), the Harvard Divinity School (HDS), and the United States Military.
As a result of the Deep Dive, Fellows gained a better understanding of the complicated problems underlying climate change, and the need for a cross-sector approach to develop pragmatic solutions.
Two experienced healthcare leaders that participated in the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University worked together to improve the nation's healthcare system through the early stage company Empathetics (an organization that teaches empathy to healthcare professionals and staff to improve the patient experience). With their guidance the company seems to make progress on staffing and funding, but despite Mandato's and McNerney's experience and optimism, the Empathetics team faced a great deal of uncertainty. Do they have the right team in place? Will they successfully raise their next round of funding? Can they penetrate the complex and crowded market and build a thriving business? Can the Empathetic products be perceived and recognized as a pain killer as opposed to a nice to have? How should they align themselves with hospitals and insurance companies? Can Empathetics fundamentally change the healthcare industry and normalize empathy training as an essential part of clinical and administrative training?
The 2017 Education Deep Dive was chaired by Professors Monica Higgins and Fernando Reimers of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). The event featured faculty speakers from HGSE and educational leaders from around the world.
During the Deep Dive, ALI Fellows heard from leaders in schools, nonprofits, governments, philanthropies, industry, and academia about efforts to empower youth. Through panel discussions, presentations, and informal conversations, fellows learned about challenges and solutions in this empowerment work.
The 2017 Culture of Health Deep Dive was chaired by Professors Howard Koh and Meredith Rosenthal of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The event featured faculty speakers from across the university and community health experts from around the country.
During the Deep Dive, Fellows examined the private sector’s role in building healthy communities. Through case studies, panel discussions, keynote speakers, and workshops, fellows developed a firm understanding of the ‘four pillars’ of a culture of health – consumer health, employee health, environmental health, and community health.
Sesame Workshop was transforming in 2016. CEO Jeff Dunn had reorganized and shifted the iconic institution to respond to digital disruption and a consensus culture. This case examines his efforts to turn Sesame Workshop around. It notes Sesame's storied history and the underlying financial troubles that Dunn confronted upon taking over in 2014. It shows how Dunn's leadership changes, increased communication, new partnership deals, and a focus on digital, sought speed, innovation, and accountability to better fulfill Sesame's educational mission. By 2016, Sesame was in the middle of its change, and Dunn contemplated how best to position the organization for success in the future.
The 2017 Climate Change Deep Dive presented ALI Fellows with a holistic perspective of the causes and consequences of climate change, as well as potential solutions to mitigate its effects. The two-day conference featured speakers from Harvard Business School (HBS), Harvard’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS), Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and Harvard Law School (HLS).
Throughout the Deep Dive, ALI Fellows explored the complexities of climate change issues and solutions using case studies to further their thinking. At the close of the two-day conference, Deep Dive Chair Forest Reinhardt pushed ALI Fellows to reflect on their learning and synthesize their takeaways.
Years before Harvard University Professor Howard Koh was appointed by President Barack Obama as the 14th U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health (2009-2014) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where he went on to address a vast portfolio of health challenges, he played a leading role in two highly impactful coalition-based public health campaigns focused on tobacco control and organ donation. The tobacco tax and organ donation campaigns illustrate how public health advocates can effectively build and rally coalitions of diverse groups around a results-focused health mission. They underscore the perseverance and other leadership traits that public health leaders like Koh harness to push through innovative strategies in the face of powerful entrenched groups committed to preserving the status quo. And while the campaigns also demonstrate the difficulties of sustaining public health initiatives due to changing political and economic circumstances, leaders like Koh must surmount disappointments to find new ways to continue the mission over the course of a long career.